Halloween Decorations 101
Setting the Scene for Halloween
The costumes and candy are part of the fun, but it's the decorations that create a truly spooktacular Halloween atmosphere. Whether you're transforming your yard into a cemetery or haunting your house with ghouls and goblins, your decor options are virtually endless. And the whole family will enjoy the process of choosing a theme, picking the decorations and getting everything ready for the big night. Don't forget to add to the mood with eerie music and bloodcurdling sound effects. And if you're entertaining guests, your menu won't be complete without creepy finger foods and festive drinks. Remember to keep paper or fabric decorations well away from any string lighting. Any decorations with play value should meet all of Health Canada’s toy requirements.
Create a Haunted Yard
Having the scariest yard on the block takes a little creativity and the right Halloween props. You can start with single skeletal hand emerging from your flowerbed and build up to a full-scale haunted maze with eerie light show, spooky sound effects and festive foggers. Styrofoam tombstones, red-eyed rats and giant spiders always get a rise out of trick-or-treaters, and the more pumpkins the merrier (and the scarier). Halloween inflatables allow you to cover more ground with less effort, and you can really amp up the scream factor with motion-sensor animated props that move or make noise.
Create a Haunted House
Take the terror indoors by turning your home into a haunted house. Halloween traditionalists may prefer a classic ghosts-and-goblins motif, featuring cobwebs, sheets, bats and candles. More extreme haunters might opt for an abandoned-asylum or zombie-apocalypse theme, strategically placing actors and Halloween props for additional effect. If you're inviting the public in, be sure to warn the little guys and ghouls of your haunted house's scare level. Adding Halloween music and swapping regular light bulbs for coloured or black-light ones will help set the mood.
Get the kids in on the decorating with creative Halloween crafts. For younger children especially, you don't have to spend a lot to have a lot of fun. Egg cartons transform into pumpkins with a little paint and paste. Uncooked pasta can be glued to colourful paper to form a skeleton. Balloons and pipe cleaners combine to create creepy spiders. For older kids who want more of a challenge, get out the hot-glue gun and create a one-of-a-kind Halloween wreath, adorned with toy bats, garlic and miniature pumpkins. Halloween canvases and paper-bag or jar lanterns are other fun Halloween decorating ideas to personalize your haunted decor.
Halloween Kids’ Parties
Give your little trick-or-treaters another opportunity to show off their costumes with a party just for kids. To ensure everyone gets into the spirit, create a Halloween-themed event and let your guests choose activities such as decorating pumpkins or turning each other into mummies with toilet paper. Halloween games like Monster Mash musical chairs and bobbing for apples are classic favourites. If you'd prefer to skip the water, simply hang apples from strings and have the kids try to bite them. Telling ghost stories, watching scary movies or seasonal cartoons and creating a spooky scavenger hunt are other entertaining Halloween ideas. Try fun menu items like witch-finger cookies, marshmallow ghosts or gooey gummy worms.
Adult Halloween Parties
For the grown-ups, Halloween parties are a fun opportunity to let your hair down... or put it up under a top hat or witch's wig. Adults can get into the spirit with creepy cocktails, dry ice and candles. Consider choosing a specific theme for your party such as the zombie apocalypse. This will help inspire your guests to come up with great party costumes. Or host a murder-mystery dinner to make sure everyone gets involved. Other decor ideas to consider are spooky silhouettes, dusty stacks of books, candelabras, cobwebs and dim lighting. When it comes to your menu, think devilled eggs, pumpkin soup and scallop-and-olive "eyeball" canapés.
To ensure your haunted house doesn't put too much of a fright into the little ones on Halloween night, consider these haunting tips. Forewarn parents of tiny tots or tone things down when young children approach your door. Just lifting your mask and letting them know it's only their neighbour (and not a real wolf man) is often enough. And though your haunted house may be extra creepy in the dark, be sure there's enough visibility for revellers to avoid falling over furniture or down stairs. To reinvent your display each year, add new ghosts, zombies and cauldrons to keep things fresh and freaky for your visitors.
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